Tuesday 27 May 2014

Burda Style 02/2013 - 115 Maxi dress

I'm thrilled to hear lots of you are planning to visit Hong Kong, I think I have contacted you all already, but just to extend the offer if anyone is ever here and fancies a meet up or fabric shopping tour please do drop me a note.

Not only have I been sewing a lot recently, I've also just got around to photos so lets catch up on some projects that are in the blog queue.

Back in September last year I first made this maxi dress from the 02/2013 issue of BurdaStyle.

Here's the original Burda pattern :

On my original post I mentioned that I might make it again as a shorter dress.  Usually stating stuff like that on my blog means it will never happen, but this time it did.

Sort of.

I tried this as a shorter dress using some blue snakeprint jersey, it was around knee length before I pinned the hem and looked great  until I tried it on!  It just looked awful, very frumpy and unflattering.  I can't claim to really understand why, but the proportions just did not work - on me at least, I expect if you have amazing legs and washboard abs it would look good, but let's face it anything would!

I still really like the top of the dress and didn't want to waste it so using the leftover strips of fabric I turned it back into a maxi by adding a ruffle cut on the cross grain so that the pattern mismatch didn't look too odd.

There are a couple of other small changes I made - I left off the shoulder gathering to get a bit of shoulder coverage and also left off the waist ties which I thought would not work on a shorter dress.  I would quite like to have them on this longer version, but no fabric so it will stay as it is.

Despite some disappointment along the way I like how this turned out and while I don't need a ton of maxi dresses in my life at least now this one looks a bit different to it's predecessor.

Sunday 18 May 2014

Shopping Splurge

I went to the Hong Kong garment district of Sham Shui Po for a few supplies and inevitably came back with a bunch of fabrics too.  I went a bit crazy with the prints, I just can't help it, so I will need to go back and really try to just buy some solid coloured pieces.

Every time I go I find a new store so I'm going to add a few details for future reference.  This was an unusually efficient trip largely because it was incredibly hot!

First up the fabrics, all of the ones immediately below came from the fabric stalls set up along Ki Lung Street.  Predominantly cottons and a stall that sells interfacing and another that is good for serger threads and other bits and bobs.

Striped navy and turquoise cotton pique and an oversized ikat print cotton blend, I think navy dress and an ikat pencil skirt for these pieces.

Two lovely pieces of cotton sateen, definitely a floral pencil skirt and possibly a black & white dress

Black and beige printed cotton, not sure what this is going to be yet....

Large panel print purple chiffon, absolutely no idea what I will do with it, but I had to bring it home with me

I wanted to get some piping cord, a detail that Carolyn uses often and which I always admire.  I found some at the supplies stall on the same street and asked for 20 yards.  The stallholder could not find the end and could not be bothered to measure off 20 yards so we did a deal for the whole bundle.  I have no idea if it was a good deal for me or not because I am kind of with the stall holder here and can't be bothered to measure it myself, but I can probably pipe everything I make for the rest of my life and still have some left over!

Ball of spaghetti!

These next pieces came from Moon Yue Fabrics, a gem of a store which has higher end fabrics, although the jerseys and silk linings are very reasonably priced here.
Moon Yue Piece Goods, 1/F, 125-127 Yu Chau St, Sham Shui Po

Digital print jewel silk crepe.  This is a contender for the wedding outfit next Friday if I can get my act together.  My back up plan is this Donna Karan number.

Border print jersey, some kind of dress I'm sure

Geometric print silk blend, love the colours in this, planning a simple but versatile skirt

 Finally for the supplies I actually went for in the first place - elastic and bar hooks - I managed to get in one store plus a couple of interesting beaded necklines to sew onto something.  This place also has lots of lace trims and I noticed bra fixings like rings and sliders if I ever go down that road.
Po Fai Ho Garment Accessories, 158 Yu Chau St, Sham Shui Po.  They even have a website 

I've got a few finished things lined up to post, just need to get onto the photography!

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Burda Style 07/2011 - 110 Dress

Yikes I didn't realise it had been so long since my last post : I've had a succession of visitors hogging my sewing room, flu, 2 overseas trips and I guess my usual loss of sewing mojo that always seems to happen as the seasons are changing.

One of my trips was to Devon in the UK for a family wedding and I really wanted to make something new to wear.  I found some gorgeous silk crepe and planned to make the Matthew Williamson designer dress from Burda Style 09/2012 - 134 that has been on my list for ages and even (gasp!) made a muslin which turned out to be a good move as I realised I would prefer it with a lower v neckline.  I started to look at other patterns to modify it and realised I had already made a very similar dress - Burda Style 07/2011 - 110 so I dug that out instead.

Plan A and Plan B respectively

You can see the previous version here, this time around I left off the pockets and tried to give the fabric the treatment it deserved by underlining it with silk organza and lining in silk.  The end result feels incredibly luxurious to wear, but I won't lie it took an age to do - and the dress still wrinkled after sitting  although it fared pretty well being pulled straight out of a suitcase the night before.  I also switched the zip to the centre back to make it easier to fine tune the fit not to mention getting the dress on and off without messing up hair and makeup!

I wore it at the wedding with nude suede shoes and some gold jewellery.  The wedding was on Easter Saturday and luckily it was sunny, I did have to borrow my husbands jacket for champagne and canap├ęs which were served outside while millions of official photographs were taken, but otherwise the dress did its job well.

Not that I had options where I bought the fabric, but my colour choice wasn't the smartest.  I have another wedding to attend here in Hong Kong this month and while I don't think it will be a traditional chinese wedding, I still feel it's a bit of a no no to wear red - rather like a guest wearing white to a western wedding.  So I will have a rummage through my wardrobe and decide if I want to make something new or not.  This may mean I have to go fabric shopping again, how terrible!!!